The government has issued Statutory Instrument 63A of 2021 that amends Statutory Instrument 50 of 2021 that was issued last week to legalise the eviction of Chilonga people.
The new SI, however, only altered the wording in some provisions without necessarily affecting the motive, implying the evictions could still go on. SI 63A of 2021 reads in part:
It is hereby notified, for general information, that the Communal Land (setting aside of land) (Chiredzi) notice, 2021, published in SI 50 of 2021, contained errors.
It further notes that 50 of 2021 was corrected “by the deletion of the words purpose of lucerne production” and substitution of “establishment of an irrigation scheme.”
The eviction of Chilonga people from their ancestral lands has been resisted by stakeholders including the MDC Alliance that has since sent a delegation to meet with the residents.
Law expert and president of opposition National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), professor Lovemore Madhuku described the evictions as unconstitutional and “colonial mentality.”
It is alleged that at the weekend, President Emmerson Mnangagwa ordered a high-level ministerial meeting to deal with the matter that was getting out of hand.
The residents argue that the state has a tendency of evicting people and dump them without compensating them for losses incurred.
Chilonga people cite the eviction of Tugwi-Mukorsi flood victims as a case in point saying the government left them without all the necessities such as schools.